Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina and NSW Greens spokesperson for education today spoke in support of the NSW Safe Schools Coalition Program.
“It is astonishing that we have people petitioning NSW parliament, saying that they do not want schools to be safe for all students that attend them. Surely everyone would agree that our schools should be safe, supportive and inclusive for all young people,” said Ms Smith.
A petition to stop the Safe Schools program from being taught in NSW schools is due to be debated in the NSW parliament today.
“Since the petition was tabled many representatives of the Australian Chinese community and other multicultural groups have come out loud and proud in support of the Safe Schools program. We know that there’s broad support from all sections of our community who want our young people to feel supported and included at school,” said Ms Smith.
“Safe Schools helps to prevent discrimination and isolation. It creates a safe space for students no matter what their sexuality is, no matter what their gender identity is, no matter what kind of family they come from.
“If the plebiscite on marriage equality goes ahead, young people will need all the support they can get to counter the negative views that are likely to be expressed about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex and questioning Australians during the national debate.
“Conservative attacks on Safe Schools continue to be based on scare tactics and misleading information about what the program involves. This is a program developed by educators, with the best interests of students as the focus,” said Ms Smith.